He was ordained as a monk in 1981 with the name Reiyō, recognized as Master of Meditation in 2001 and then as Dharma Master in 2013. He continues to teach in Italy and Europe, having received his second name Ekai 恵海, Ocean of Wisdom. He received his training from Master Engaku Taino under the aegis of Master Taishitsu Mumon Yamada, Rector of the Imperial University of Hanazono, who ritually welcomed him when he was a young monk.
Master Anfolsi Reiyō Ekai received the secret teachings from Masters such as Kalu Rimpoche (1905-1989), Chőgyall Namkhai Norbu R., Nyoshul Kenpo R. (1932–1999), and Tenzin Namdak R. He received the six Yogas of Naropa from his Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharmasala in 1990. That same year he established a new incarnation of the Neoplatonic Academy for hermetic alchemical exploration originally founded by Lorenzo the Magnificent, Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola and Leon Battista Alberti in Tuscany, right in Florence again after five centuries. With Nitrogeno, accompanied by Editor Rocco Fontana, he wishes to continue this extraordinary operation of bridging worlds.
Leonardo Anfolsi made his debut as a writer with a comic spiritual autobiography (Banananda, 1989), an immediate best-seller edited and published by Franco Battiato in his series L’Ottava Edizioni (now reprinted by Fontana Editore). The autobiography appears alongside Nobel Prizewinner Natsume Soseki’s texts from Sufi scriptural tradition, as well as Gurdjieff’s now classic texts. Anfolsi continues to write works on Buddhism and Zen. In high demand as a speaker, his lectures are appreciated internationally for their congeniality and scholarship.
Since the 1980’s Leonardo Anfolsi has studied and practiced naturopathy, a discipline he exercises alongside his role as Buddhist Minister. In the 1990’s he was called to direct the therapeutic division of the Naturist Association of Bologna, at the time the most highly-respected, well-articulated and advanced association of its kind in Europe.
Master Anfolsi collaborates with artists and entrepreneurs in the capacity of writer, but also in the role of meditation guide and healer. One recent example is Opera Unica, co-authored with Marco Bagnoli, Alessandro Magini, edited by Sergio Risaliti of Mondadori Arte Electa in 2016. He appeared at the Biennale di Venezia del 2007 as a multimedial artist in the space dedicated to the celebration of Joseph Beuys at the Arsenale.